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Changing Places

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Album Review

This release signals in the then 33-year old, Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen's debut outing for the ECM Records label. His fellow compatriots, bassist Harald Johnsen and drummer Jarle Vespestad, round out this jazz piano trio offering. Fundamentally speaking, the group seemingly works its palate into that classic "ECM Records" aesthetic, comprising echo-laden sonic characteristics and a chamber-esque vibe. Otherwise, Gustavsen demonstrates meticulously construed faculties via a tasteful approach, ringing up notions of the late Bill Evans, amid a conservatory-type demeanor. To that end, the pianist shines forth as a gifted melody maker via a series of deftly executed choruses and sublime themes. The bulk of this production consists of the trio's probing inclinations and lightly implemented rhythmic structures. Gustavsen's multifaceted arsenal features an abundance of swirling arpeggios, nimbly rendered harmonics, and gently fabricated block chords. Alternatively, the total listening experience becomes a bit arduous in scope, due to the band's unwavering gait. Nonetheless, Gustavsen is most certainly one to watch!

Customer Reviews

Smooth or not...

This is an audaciously romantic collection. I've read what Tord has to say on his website and have no clue what it has to do with this music. He's got a good ear for melody. So much so the tunes seem like you've heard them before and you know you haven't. I'm tempted to call this smooth jazz except there's way more to it than that. This is the kind of music that won't change your mood but if you're ready for it will certainly accentuate what you're feeling.


Born: October 5, 1970 in Oslo, Norway

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Before he started his trio, Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen was already very much involved in his country's jazz scene. Contributions to releases by groups like the Silje Nergaard Band, the Ulrich Drechsler Quartet, and others had already helped to establish him as one of Norway's top players. In 2003, signed to ECM, Gustavsen, along with drummer Jarle Vespestad and bassist Harald Johnsen, released Changing Places, which was followed in 2005 with Ground. Two years later, Being There, what Gustavsen...
Full Bio
Changing Places, Tord Gustavsen Trio
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Customer Ratings